Friday, January 23, 2015

Beating the Winter Blues - Indoor Gross Motor Activities

It’s that time of year again. As the smog descends on the valley and the ice creeps still over the yards, the winter blues have officially hit. The last months of winter are hard on all of us, but possibly the hardest for our little ones who are tired of being cooped up inside all day every day. With the holidays over and the excitement of their new toys worn off your lil guys are ready to move! The park is still too cold so we have brought the fun to you! 

Here are a few, simple ideas to turn your own living room into a wiggle-release zone. We just might all make it through this winter!

Penguin Waddle!
You'll Need:
  • medium ball (i.e. kickball, exercise ball)
  •  masking tape (optional)

  • The child holds the ball between his legs (knees or ankles- whichever is more comfortable) and they have to waddle while keeping the ball in place.
  • Variations:
    • Make it a relay race by marking a start and finish line where the child must pass the ball to another child or to you.
    • Mark lines on the floor with the tape that the child must walk over, like zig-zag lines, curved lines, circles, squares, etc.

Freeze Skate! 

Photo Credit
You'll Need:
  •  Paper Plates
  • Music
  • Masking Tape (optional)

  •  Give each child two plates- one for each foot, and skate around the living room carpet floor.
  • Turn on your favorite tunes and freeze when the music stops!
  •  Variations
    • Tape off a “rink” that the child can skate inside.
    •  Do a skate train where every one hangs onto the person ahead of their shoulders and skate together.
    • Take turns showing each other your best skate tricks. Name them and teach each other how to do them!  Source

Snowball Fight in the News!
Photo Credit
You'll Need:
  • Old newspaper

  • Depending on the age and interest of your child, make “snowballs” with them or on your own by scrunching newspaper into balls.
  • Place them in one big pile in your living room and go to town throwing them at each other, gather and go again.
  • Couches or chairs make great forts and places to hide.  Source

Marshmallow Hockey!

Photo Credit
You'll Need:
  •  Marshmallows (big or small)
  •  Broom (best if child sized but not necessary)
  •  Masking tape

  • Tape a circle with masking tape on the tile, laminate or wood floor.
  • Give child a broom
  • Spread marshmallows around room and let him sweep them into the circle
  • Variations:
    •  Count the marshmallows as he gets them into the goal.
    •  Pass/Sweep the marshmallows around the circle.

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